Gaming PC building time

#1 Edited by DeiNile (66 posts) -

So I got my hands on most of my old tower again, but I am missing a few essential components. There is no case, no PSU, memory or CPU cooler. It is quite the weird situation, I must admit. Here are the components that I actually have:

CPU: Core i5-3570''K

GPU: GeForce GTX 770

Motherboard: Asus PBZ77-V LE

And I have to hard drives that will suit me fine for the time being.

My budget is $300, though I do not want to go completely overboard with this stuff. Could I get decent equipment for less, you think?

I would prefer a quiet case/cooler, assuming that the increased heat does not negatively effect the performance of the rig. I remember people raging about the Antec 900 case back in the day, but that is the extent of my case knowledge. On the PSU front, would 650W be enough or should I stretch it to 700 to be sure? For the moment I do not have any plans to overclock the system.

I did have a look at the Tested build from last year - the $1000 one - and those components seem decent, but I am unsure if they still are up to snuff.

Any suggestions on what to get would be greatly appreciated!

#2 Posted by MB (13783 posts) -

I really like Corsair PSU's, 650 would be plenty. Just make sure to get a modular one for better cable management and less hassle. I like the TX series. Other top manufacturers are Seasonic and EVGA.

As far as cases go...there are so many options.The Antec 900 is still a good case but it's quite antiquated at this point as far as features go. The new hot case is the Phanteks Enthoo Pro...otherwise look into ATX cases from Cooler Master, Corsair, Bitfenix, and Fractal. What I recommend is watching some videos on YouTube from LinusTechTips or HardwareCanucks, they review most of the popular cases. That, and watch build videos or guides on cases you're interested in to see what the builds are like and how the features seem. A lot of differences or features that seem minor on paper can make a big difference when you're actually building. I think Linus does a great job of detailing the pros and cons of many different cases and PC hardware in general.

As far as CPU coolers go, that depends on if you plan on overclocking or not. If you are...just get the Noctua NH-D14. It's the best air cooler on the market. You might as well get a good aftermarket cooler since you're building right now. If not, you can probably find a new Ivy Bridge or Haswell stock cooler for practically free on Craigslist and it will do totally fine.

#3 Edited by DeiNile (66 posts) -

@mb: Thanks a bunch for the suggestions! May I ask why you prefer the TX series? Is there a performance reason or is it because of specific features?

#4 Edited by MB (13783 posts) -

@deinile: TX is modular, quiet, has a high efficiency rating at 80+, and isn't too expensive. It's just a good balance of everything I'm looking for in a PSU, plus Corsair has incredible tech support & customer service and the TX has a standard 5 year warranty. I have a TX850 and the thing is so efficient and cool running that the fan doesn't even come on unless I'm running some kind of stress test.

All of the top manufacturers are pretty equal though, I think. Anything from Seasonic or Corsair and even EVGA is going to be a quality PSU. Even Corsair's budget Builder series are some of the most popular PSU's around due to the value they offer. The specs may all be slightly different but in the end, besides a slight noise level difference you may not even be able to tell the difference between the brands once they're installed and running. EVGA is one to seriously consider, their customer support is also excellent for all of their products and some of their PSU's carry ten year warranties, too. Corsair and EVGA are both known for going above and beyond in the customer care department even post-warranty, too. I've seen numerous reports over the years of PSU's from both companies being replaced out of warranty, or big upgrades being given to people upon PSU or GPU replacement when they definitely didn't have to.

#5 Posted by MonkeyKing1969 (3495 posts) -

Those parts won't need much above 650 watts, so get whatever you want that 80+ bronze or above...your choice on brand and if you want more power.

I'd go for a closed loop water cooler. You already have the the mobo, gpu, and cpu so I assume you have a bit of money around for the rest.

Cases hardly matters, it all about ease of wiring and aesthetics. What was in before - huge cases - is now more out of favor. I'd look at something mid-tower of smaller that still fits your ATX board and parts list. Having a huge case on the desk on on the floor is just dumb these days, cases are better, fans & filter are better, and water cooler radiators fit into so many cases. So, get as small of a case that will fit the parts you want.

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